Belfast Telegraph

Cancer care professor appointed

Ireland's first cancer care professor has been appointed by the University of Ulster.

Dr Ellis McCaughan is an academic who researches the experiences of people affected by the often deadly disease.

She has an international reputation as a leader in the field and her work includes men and cancer, supporting women undergoing breast reconstruction after cancer and helping parents diagnosed with cancer cope with children and family issues.

"As cancer screening and treatments become more effective, cancer can be diagnosed earlier and patients live longer post diagnosis. Consequently, cancer is increasingly being seen as a chronic disease," she said.

"This means there are rising numbers of people who are surviving cancer, and living relatively well. Some of them have symptoms and long-term side-effects of treatments which we are only starting to understand now."

Other challenges that can arise may involve physical, social, psychological and financial factors.

The professor added: "The focus of our research is on the needs and experiences of cancer survivors, in order to shape the development of interventions that will assist them to meet these challenges."

Her first priority is to lead a programme which aims to help men living with cancer.

Professor McCaughan and her team have developed a self-management programme called Prostate Connect to support men and their partners following treatment for prostate cancer.

She added: "I am delighted to have been awarded a chair in cancer care. This will enable me to continue my work of cancer care research with the public, patients and healthcare professionals, and developing and supporting cancer nursing research within the Institute of Nursing Research."

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